With another Labor Day approaching, it is clear that American workers could use some help. There are jobs to be had – but without living wages or the job security that is more necessary than ever in this age of pandemic. The state minimum wage is $ 7.25 an hour, no higher than it was in 2009. And working people who want to form unions and negotiate better wages are restricted by so-called “right to work” laws in most states that enable multinational corporations like Amazon to thwart organizing actions.
To a greater extent than any other country to which the United States would compare, our policymakers have tipped the scales against the working class. Why?
Let’s start with the Republican Party. Ever since Ronald Reagan broke a legitimate and necessary blow the professional association of air traffic controllers Forty years ago this summer, the Republican Party positioned itself as an explicitly and aggressively anti-Labor Party. Reagan’s descendants – devious political careerists like former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Ohio Governor John Kasich –brought the GOP’s war against the workers to the States and attacked teachers and their civil servants. At the federal level, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy are using their positions to obstruct even the most basic efforts to improve the working conditions of Americans.
In March when the house was over the Law on the Protection of the Right to Organize (PRO) of 2021, 220 Democrats supported the proposal to make it easier for workers to enforce collective bargaining rights. Two hundred and five Republicans voted against. Despite the overwhelming opposition of the GOP to the measure, the support of the Democrats was sufficient to send the bill to the Senate. Unfortunately, McConnell and his colleagues are using their filibuster powers to prevent scrutiny of a measure intended to allow workers “against corporations” according to Wisconsin Democrat MP Mark Pocan and one of the few union members currently in Congress and special anti-union interests that have attacked and undermined the labor movement for decades. ”
“It is interesting that the Republicans have recently tried to mistakenly rename themselves the Labor Party while defying the strongest law in Congress to give workers power.” Pocan said during the house debate in March. “The same Republicans who fought with all their might to cut economic controls and unemployment insurance, campaigned for union breakdown, and kept minimum wage increases from being included in COVID relief. They claim they are the party of the working people. Their idea of helping the working people is to vote for a $ 2 trillion tax cut for corporate donors and billionaire friends, but refuse to vote for a $ 1.9 trillion investment in the American people.